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Doctor’s Excuse

I have an employee that has been absent for more than a week. We have reason to believe that a portion of that time has been out of town on a trip. She has provided a Doctor’s excuse but didn’t see the doctor in the beginning of the absence. Can a Doctor write an excuse that retrogrades back on days that they were not seen?

It’s feasible that an individual may not immediately see their Doctor for an illness. For example, an employee may have a cold that doesn’t warrant a Doctor’s visit. She calls out sick for two days but the illness worsens. She decides to see her Doctor on the third day. Thus, the Doctor’s note would be dated appropriately but still cover the absences. If the Doctor included a time limit during which the employee should be out of work, then the absences would seemingly be further justified.

Whenever there is doubt concerning an employee’s absence it’s best to discuss the situation with the employee. If the employee affirms that she was sick the entire time and denies going on vacation, without any concrete evidence stating otherwise, there is not much the employer can do. However, by talking to the employee you’ll make her aware that information has been shared with you. This can be good or bad. If the employee misrepresented her illness, she is now aware that her behavior is on radar. Most employees wouldn’t repeat such behavior once it’s been recognized. On the other hand, the employee’s morale will most likely be negatively affected if she, in fact, was sick and her integrity is being questioned.

The employer must decide if the basis of the allegation is legitimate and warrant a discussion with the employee. The employee’s past behavior and job performance should also be taken in to account.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 7:34 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management.
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